Skip to comments.Polygamy, Too (If marriage can evolve in terms of gender, why not in terms of number?)
Posted on 04/21/2012 6:41:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum got jeered for comparing the legalization of same-sex marriage to that of polygamy, but, whether or not the comparison is rationally sound, thoughts of the formers facilitating the latter bring a smile to many Islamists. If the definition of marriage can evolve in terms of gender, some Muslims ask, why not in terms of number?
Islam sanctions polygamy more specifically, polygyny allowing Muslim men to keep up to four wives at once. Though marrying a second woman while remaining married to the first is prohibited across the Western world, including all 50 U.S. states, a Muslim can circumvent the law by wedding one woman in a government-recognized marriage and joining with others in unlicensed religious unions devoid of legal standing.
As Muslims have grown more numerous in the West, so too have Muslim polygamists. France, home to the largest Islamic population in Western Europe, was estimated in 2006 to host 16,000 to 20,000 polygamous families almost all Muslim containing 180,000 total people, including children. In the United States, such Muslims may have already reached numerical parity with their fundamentalist-Mormon counterparts; as many as 100,000 Muslims reside in multi-wife families, and the phenomenon has gained particular traction among black Muslims.
The increasingly prominent profile of Islamic polygamy in the West has inspired a range of accommodations. Several governments now recognize plural marriages contracted lawfully in immigrants countries of origin. In the United Kingdom, these polygamous men are eligible to receive extra welfare benefits an arrangement that some government ministers hope to kill and a Scottish court once permitted a Muslim who had been cited for speeding to retain his drivers license because he had to commute between his wives.
The ultimate accommodation would involve placing polygamous and monogamous marriages on the same legal footing, but Islamists have been relatively quiet on this front, a silence that some attribute to satisfaction with the status quo or a desire to avoid drawing negative publicity. There have, of course, been exceptions. The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain made waves in 2000 about challenging the U.K.s ban on polygamy, but little came of it. In addition, two of Australias most influential Islamic figures called for recognition of polygamous unions several years ago.
With the legal definition of marriage expanding in various U.S. states, as it has in other nations, should we anticipate rising demands that we recognize polygamous marriages? Debra Majeed, an academic apologist for Islamic polygamy, has tried to downplay such concerns, claiming that opponents of same-sex unions, rather than proponents of polygyny as practiced by Muslims, are the usual sources of arguments that a door open to one would encourage a more visible practice of the other. Yet some American Muslims apparently did not get the memo.
Because off-the-cuff remarks can be the most revealing, consider a tweet by Moein Khawaja, executive director of the Philadelphia branch of the radical Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After New York legalized same-sex marriage last June, Khawaja expressed what many Islamists must have been thinking: Easy to support gay marriage today bc its mainstream. Lets see same people go to bat for polygamy, its the same argument. *crickets*
The same argument theme is fleshed out in an October 2011 piece titled Polygamy: Tis the Season? in the Muslim Link, a newspaper serving the Washington and Baltimore areas. There are murmurs among the polygamist community as the country moves toward the legalization of gay marriage, it explains. As citizens of the United States, they argue, they should have the right to legally marry whoever they please, or however many they please. The story quotes several Muslim advocates of polygamy. As far as legalization, I think they should, says Hassan Amin, a Baltimore imam who performs polygamous religious unions. We should strive to have it legalized because Allah has already legalized it.
Again and again the article connects the normalization of same-sex marriage and Islamic polygamy. As states move toward legalizing gay marriage, the criminalization of polygamy is a seemingly striking inconsistency in constitutional law, it asserts. Be it gay marriage or polygamous marriage, the rights of the people should not be based on their popularity but rather on the constitutional laws that are meant to protect them.
According to a survey carried out by the Link, polygamy suffers from no lack of popularity among American Muslims. Thirty-nine percent reported their intention to enter polygamous marriages if it becomes legal to do so, and nearly 70 percent said they believe that the U.S. should legalize polygamy now that it is beginning to legalize gay marriage. Unfortunately, no details about the methodology or sample size are provided, and in general quality data on Western Muslims views of polygamy are scarce and often contradictory. Results from a recent poll of SingleMuslim.com users, many of whom live in the West, show significant support for the religious institution of polygamy, while findings from a more professional-looking survey of French Muslims indicate little desire for legalization.
Nevertheless, the number of polygamous Muslims and the opportunity presented by the redefining of marriage make it very likely that direct appeals for official recognition will ramp up over the next decade, as more Muslims join vocal non-Muslims already laying out the case that polygamists deserve no fewer rights than gays. In the meantime, watch for Islamists and their allies to prepare for ideological battle.
For starters, one hears a lot about the alleged social necessity of recognizing Islamic polygamy. The hardships encountered by second, third, and fourth wives who lack legal protections are regularly highlighted, while polygamy is promoted as a solution to the loss of marriageable black men in America to drugs, violence, and prison. Because polygamists who are not legally married are known to abuse welfare systems for instance, Muslim women in polygamous marriages often claim benefits as single mothers it would not be shocking to see legalization pushed even as a means of curbing fraud.
These practical arguments are supplemented with heavy-handed attempts to extol the supposed virtues of Islamic polygamy, as in a Georgia middle-school assignment featuring a sharia-lauding Muslim who tells students that if our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for. Leftist academics such as Miriam Cooke, who has peddled the fiction that polygamy frees married Muslim women to pursue lovers, will have a role to play as well.
The good news for opponents of polygamy is that eventual legalization remains far from certain in the U.S. or elsewhere. State representatives will not be rushing to introduce pro-polygamy bills when, according to a Gallup survey from last year, almost nine in ten Americans still see the practice as morally wrong. Opinions can change, of course, as they have regarding same-sex marriage. Unfortunately for polygamys backers, however, the equality arguments employed to great effect by gay-marriage advocates may ring hollow, in that recognizing polygamy which almost always takes the form of polygyny would essentially endorse inequality between the genders.
Convincing American judges to overturn restrictions will be an uphill battle as well and not just because of the U.S. Supreme Courts 1879 rejection of the religious duty defense of marrying multiple partners in Reynolds v. United States. More recently, state supreme courts have explicitly held the line against polygamy in their rulings to extend marriage rights to same-sex pairs. See Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (Massachusetts, 2003) and In re Marriage Cases (California, 2008); the latter decision describes both polygamous and incestuous unions as inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry.
Judicial criticism of polygamy is not unique to the U.S. In a case concerning self-proclaimed Mormon fundamentalists, the supreme court of British Columbia upheld Canadas ban on plural marriage last November after the chief justice, in the words of the New York Times, found that women in polygamous relationships faced higher rates of domestic, physical and sexual abuse, died younger and were more prone to mental illnesses. Children from those marriages, he said, were more likely to be abused and neglected, less likely to perform well at school and often suffered from emotional and behavioral problems.
Focusing on polygamy in the Islamic world does not yield a happier image. Based on her experiences in Afghanistan, feminist university professor Phyllis Chesler has called the practice humiliating, cruel, [and] unfair to the wives, and noted that it sets up fearful rivalries among the half-brothers of different mothers who have lifelong quarrels over their inheritances. Likewise, Egyptian-born human-rights activist Nonie Darwish has elucidated polygamys devastating impact on the healthy function and the structure of loyalties within Muslim families.
Recent studies have bolstered these accounts. According to new research, Israeli Arab women in polygamous marriages are worse off than those in monogamous ones. A separate investigation uncovered similar negative effects on Malaysian Muslims. In addition, an academic paper released this year concludes that polygamous societies in general lag behind their monogamous counterparts and explores the reasons for this, including the increased tension and criminal activity that result from creating a surplus of single, low-status men.
There are many other arguments against polygamy that supporters of legalization will have to defeat, such as that expanding marriage to three or more people would require massive alterations of Western family law. However, neither bureaucratic obstacles nor public exposure of the social ills accompanying polygamy will deter polygamous Muslims from seeking what they desire.
Recognition of polygamous marriages would be a major win for stealth jihadists and the time is nearly optimal for them to make their move. How ironic that laws benefiting gay couples may aid Islamists followers of an ideology that despises homosexuals in their campaign to establish sharia in the Western world.
David J. Rusin is a research fellow at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. This article initially appeared in the April 16, 2012, issue of National Review.
When you start redefining and corrupting the family, you undermine all higher levels of organization, and indeed, it's a critical step to "fundamentally transforming" a nation.
I was glad to hear Mark Davis, on Rush's show yesterday plug this book...
Santorum understands the thesis of this book and has a holistic vision of the inter-connectedness between social, fiscal, and foreign policies. It's a pity too many GOP primary voters failed to do so.
The old “but it will never happen here” gambit.
Coming soon to a town in your state. Mormons, Muslims and More! Polygamy is more natural than Gay marriage—at least its found in the Bible and not listed as an Abomination.
Some would argue species as well. Seriously.
I am pessimistic that the ‘mainsteam’ American culture can survive the present level od decadence and debauch.
“The old but it will never happen here gambit.”
With the end result being the destruction of civilization.
I want to marry bacon.
One is more than enough.
I have been saying this for years: If there is nothing special about marriage being between one man and one woman, what is so special about the number two?
With so many of the men locked up; what would one expect?
Now see here!
The American psychiatric community is already re-naming pediphilia as “inter-generational sex”.
And we know shrinks become shrinks because they need the most help.
What IS it 'listed' as??
THE BOOK OF JACOB
THE BROTHER OF NEPHICHAPTER 224 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.
25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.
32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Or even HERE:
1 Timothy 3:2-3
2. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3. not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.1 Timothy 3:12
A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.Titus 1:6
An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTSSECTION 1325157, Emma Smith is counseled (commanded) to be faithful and true; 5866, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to aprove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, areceive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been afaithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an ahundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of beternal lives in the eternal worlds.
Gay Marriage and Polygyny raise the next valid question: Can three or more gay guys marry? Why not?
‘Rick was right about a lot of things. He was the only candidate that understood that the family is the most fundamental level of social organization between people, and as such, the building block for any society, be it a village, city, state, nation, etc.’
He was right about many things. Had he prevailed in the primary I would have supported him. However, many - not all - but MANY of these things are battles which cannot be won in political or legislative arenas. Spiritual warfare and cultural warfare are very specific things, often to be fought out principally or specifically in the realms of the spirit or the culture. Not always, but often.
Mainly we need freedom. When we are free, we can make our impact. Freedom from imperious government, school propaganda, government propaganda, union propaganda, forced associations etc. Opt for freedom and we have the numbers to break the “NWO” chains which both of these corrupted parties are forging. Strive solely for our specific vision(s) of what is right, and all significant coalitions fall apart.
I think the time is coming when any freedom we enjoy will be seized rather than ‘permitted’. We must have the fortitude to realize that rendering unto God what is God’s will entail resistance to tyranny, regardless of which sock puppet wins this election.
Like the marriage counselors who have been married 3-4 times advising people on how to save their marriages.
First a POTUS, like any executive sets a moral tone for the organization he leads. Just look to Cartagena if you need an example. In as much as all things are political, leadership by example and standing firmly behind the bully pulpit can effect a lot of subtle changes in the hearts and minds of the American people. Reagan did it very effectively.
Legislatively, I think a lot can be done, not by passing new "morality" laws, but by repealing a lot of immoral ones.
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